My goal was to finish my novel by the end of February. It is February 21, a mere seven days out from the month’s end, and I…am…done.
I finished yesterday, very simply and without any fuss. I assure you, though, there were fireworks in my head—fireworks and confetti and Oscar-level applause. I wasn’t satisfied with the ending though; endings need to be powerful, and last words should be devastatingly meaningful. So I spent some time tinkering with and rewriting the ending this afternoon. And it is now completely, officially finished (minus editing, rewrites, etc. to be done at a later date).
It’s weird to be done. I started writing some version of this same story when I was 16. Yet something about it always stuck with me, and when I found the story again almost a year ago, after I thought it was lost for good, I decided to try again. Everything I had ever attempted to write all came back to the same place, and I realized that I could never go on until that story was finished.
The funny thing is: at the time when I rediscovered this lost story, my entire life was changing. I had just moved for the first time in almost nine years; I was finishing up my last year of college and struggling to make sense of my future; I was falling in love. And a lot changes between 16 and 21 anyway. What became the driving theme of this story—ghosts—was something I hadn’t even experienced in high school. That came later, and, in this writing endeavor at least, it became everything.
Even if this book never actually becomes a book (which, let’s face it, it probably won’t), it has served its purpose. It was an exorcism; almost everything I’ve written has been to some extent. And now that it’s all out of my system, I feel lighter, freer, and strangely more alive. I laid my ghosts to rest a long time ago, but all this writing gave me the chance to lay a few other things to rest too.
If it becomes something, wonderful. If it doesn’t…I no longer care as much as I did. My old dreams are just that: old. I have new dreams now, and they matter far, far more.
Of course, if I were fortunate enough to get both…I certainly wouldn’t complain.